Easter Saturday, a fine sunny day, perfect for a trip to the seaside with 2 friends.
Set off on the 9.10 train to Cleethorpes. Friends delighted when I produced bucks fizz and plastic wine glasses from my bag. Hilarity as tried to pour without spilling on table. Poor chap occupying fourth seat asked to move – not because he was getting off, but because we were getting lary.
First time for me in Cleethorpes. Very excited because I love the sea, having grown up on the south coast. Living in landlocked Sheffield, had not seen the sea for 3 years. Friends said the sea at Cleethorpes is in fact the Humber estuary and very tidal. When tide is out, there are acres of sand flats, so you can barely even see the sea then. Well, if I go all the way to the seaside and don’t see the sea, there’ll be trouble. Fortunately when we got off the train, the sea was all there.
Pretty awful run-down seaside tat around the station. Pier had been cut down to a few yards in wartime. Traditional seaside donkeys and hardy British bucket-and-spaders despite chilly wind.
Strolled down the prom to the bird sanctuary and were passed by a delightful miniature steam train going ‘toot-toot’! Everyone waved.
Stopped at the point where the line of zero longitude crosses the east coast, marked by a signpost and a metal plate in the pavement ‘Greenwich Meridian Longitude – zero’.
Found the miniature train station complete with traditional signage, men in railway uniforms of yesteryear, and a stout man in a bowler hat announcing departures via a cordless microphone. A fusion of old and new in one fat controller!
Then came across a wonderful boating lake, big, with 3 islands and a host of ducks, geese and swans. And tourists trying to row against the stiff breeze off the North sea. I have sea legs so insisted we join in. Seven quid for 30 minutes, he said, but we filled our boots for an hour and no-one minded.
Boat man held boat steady as we clambered out, and asked him where’s the best place round here for fish and chips? Steele’s in the market place, without a doubt. Found Steele’s, and even though it was nearly 3pm and past the lunchtime rush, a queue out the door. Worth the wait. Slap-up fish and chips, traditional style. Comes with a pot of tea and bread-and-butter. Pot of tea comes with a jug of hot water – the mark of quality. Dessert menu included banana split, knickerbocker glory, and spotted dick. Wonderful. But a bridge too far for us. Besides, there were freshly-baked donuts to buy back on the prom. And sticks of rock. And cinder toffee.
Back on the prom, the sea had gone!
Till next time,